Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Today I watched another family watch their baby die. 

It was as awful as it sounds. 

It was raw, wrenching grief. Even the nurses cried.

We knew these parents a little bit. We spent a shabbat with them on the oncology ward, and when we got to the ICU yesterday, there they were, in the room next to ours. 

"How are you?" I asked the mother yesterday morning, and she shrugged her shoulders. 

"Could be better. You?

"Could be better," I said, and we smiled that half-smile that doesn't indicate anything resembling happiness.

On the oncology ward, there are doors to close, a modicum of privacy. In the ICU, their grief was splayed out for everyone to see and hear. 

It's not something that you can put behind you and walk away from, at least not very easily. I have a feeling that I will hear her anguished cries for a long time to come. 


When I arrived in the morning, Guy told me that the night hadn't been great. Adi was vomiting, he was in pain. The surgeons conferred, and quickly decided that there was no option but to operate. 

"But what about the fact that he's neutropenic?"

"We'll have to deal with that."

Before he could go into surgery, Adi needed platelets, and by the time he went in, his neutrophils were up to 500, which is still not great, but it's better than 200. So that's something.

Once again, his bowel was all twisted up, and they untwisted it and closed him back up, and now we have to hope and pray that he can recover from this surgery and that this, indeed, was the cause of the septic shock, and that we have effectively treated the primary issue.

Cultures have also revealed a gram-positive bacteria in his blood; by tomorrow they hope to be able to narrow his antibiotics to treat it effectively. 


The room next door has been cleaned thoroughly. The curtain between our rooms, closed all day, is now half-open. The monitor is dark. It hurts to see. It hurts to think. It hurts to cry. It hurts.